Aston Villa fans can look forward to seeing their side live on TV on Saturday as Sky Sports is showing their home clash with Nottingham Forest at 5.30pm. Appearing live is a rarity for the Villans these days and hopefully, the players will get a taste for it and strive to reach the Premiership, where they can bask in the adulation of TV cameras on a regular basis.
They were pre-season favourites to be promoted after signing John Terry from Chelsea, but they got off to a slow start this season. The revival is underway, however, and their unbeaten run in the league now stands at five games. They have a great chance to extend it further against an inconsistent Forest side on Saturday.
Mark Warburton’s side has played eight games this season, winning half of them and losing the other half. This is not the sort of team that tries to grind out hard-fought draws. They take risks and go for it, live by the sword and die by it. That should play right into the hands of Villa, who on paper have far too much quality for Forest. The bookmakers have gone a little cold on Steve Bruce’s side after their shaky start to the campaign, but they believe Villa can win this one comfortably. Sportsbooks will offer competitive odds before you place a wager check out this list of trusted betting sites. You can get odds of 7/9 on Villa winning this one and that looks a great bet. The majority of the action among punters is certainly going on the home win, while the most likely score according to the bookies is 1-0 to Aston Villa.
A slender home win and a clean sheet would be a great result. The team have been a lot harder to break down in recent weeks, ignoring the league cup game, and Villa now has a positive goal difference once again. In four home games, they have conceded three goals, while Forest has shipped eight goals in four away matches. They have a leaky defence and leave gaps at the back as they pour forwards, so Conor Hourihane, Jonathan Kodjia and co should be licking their lips at the prospect of facing this backline live on TV.
Forest is very dangerous going forwards and Terry and James Chester will have to be at their very best to keep the likes of Darryl Murphy quiet. That should be a battle Terry relishes as Murphy is not the quickest striker around and the former England captain has the ability to outmuscle him and keep him in his back pocket all game. Forest is a plucky side but unlikely to do anything more exciting than finish mid-table this season. If Villa is to launch a serious promotion bid, they have to beat teams like this in front of their home fans.
Amid the excitement of Terry’s arrival, Villa was made joint-favourites with Middlesbrough to win the Championship this season. But a couple of defeats in the opening weeks sent the odds drifting way out, and they are now eighth favourites. That leaves them behind Wolves, Boro, Leeds, Cardiff, Fulham, Sheff Wed and Derby in the pecking order. They are lingering in 13th, with just two wins from eight games, but they have become tough to beat in recent weeks and just need to start capitalising on their dominance in games and putting away chances. Snodgrass can be a great creative force and Hourihane is on fire.
Kodjia just needs to put on his shooting boots and Villa will soar up the table as the defence has the potential to be very strong. The teams above them all have their weaknesses and it is a long old season, so there is plenty of time for Villa to make up lost ground, and they can start by beating Forest on Saturday.